T.A. Noonan

The Ankylosaur Affirmation

I am master of Legos—molded palms,
fruit trees, low-lying green rounds.
The color of road cones, my embedded plates protect me
against Spongebob’s atomic leg drop.
No See N’ Say can imitate the rack of my club tail.

I have memories of fighter jets,
Montana flats, Barnum Brown’s classification,
the chalkboard scrape of Deinonychus claws.
My wide skull, my acorn brain, my plateless underbelly.
A boy pokes my clumpy neck with a No. 2 pencil.

I hate the flash that roughs my parts.
Too much injection? Not enough pressure?—-who cares
what forced me carnivore. I must chew those burrs,
imagine grass. I must teach myself to drive a fire engine.
I must teach myself to drive fire.



for Greg Weiss

The act: playground speculation. Do we need speculums, external genitals, sex?
Would our necks flex backwards? The tail? Surely cloacal stimulation can count as sex. . .

But scientists don’t know how we do it! They only just learned to verify dino gender
from bones; erotic arts remain an unknown fossil—frottage as likely as immersion sex.

Posterior presentation is the dominant theory—nothing that hasn’t been enacted
in Barbie’s Dream House. Still, pink elevators can’t hold our bodies or the organs that mark our sex.

Exhibit A: our flattened crotches. They clack, never conjoin. No Tab A for Slot B, no groove;
this is love we can never have: no Dino Double-Down, let alone Tyrannosaurus Sex.

We need role-play—stego skirts to peek beneath, archaeopteryx chaps, the big drag show–
and kids to bang together our slick bottom halves. Their performance matters during sex.

And I, Compsognathus—of dainty jaw and triple digits—surrender to five-pronged hands.
In them, balance comes easy. I hump like a bird. My flesh lingers, chaste. The plastic is sex.


T.A. Noonan’s first collection, The Bone Folders, received the 2007 Heartland Poetry Prize from Cracked Slab Books. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, RHINO, Phoebe, and many others. She is also the editor of Flaming Giblet Press.